Nearly a decade ago a left-of-center "red-green" coalition with Gerhard Schröder (SPD) as former Chancellor and his "Deputy" Vice-Chancellor Joseph ("Joschka") Fischer (Eco-Greens) at the helm implemented in 2003 to 2005 the most radical transformation of Germany's federal social security legislation after re-unification, also known as "Hartz I-IV laws".
The combination of long-term unemployment benefits and social welfare have led to massive budget savings in connection with financial cuts for recipients on the dole and their dependents so far.
This vast reform was necessary then to rein in exploding federal and municipal expenses in period of economic recession.
The succeeding grand-coalition of Merkel (CDU)-Steinmeier (SPD) took also advantage of the effects of Schröder's "Agenda 2010".
Combatting this "hate term" and the socio-economic consequences of Hartz IV legislation by former GDR socialists/communists of Gregor Gysi's SED/PDS successor party, called now with the catchy name "The Leftist(s) - Die Linke(n)", has been their prime task since introduction.
The people 'on the dole' living in the five new German federal states - Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-W Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia plus the reunified city-state of Berlin - faced the biggest impact of social security transformation.
Due to structurally higher unemployment in the eastern German states, almost double the percentage rate vs. West Germany, Leftists' "Tibetan prayer-wheel" political propaganda heavily resounded as "social injustice toward the poor and week" especially among the East German population whose former GDR citizens had enjoyed "a cradle to casket" welfare state without any unemployment.
After the inauguration of the second Merkel CDU&CSU-FDP administration in 2008, the SPD/Eco-Greens' affection toward their own success story has drastically declined.
Blowing now the horn of social injustice in sync with the ultra-left is obviously transparent, populist maneuvering by not recognizing the other necessary circumstances of constitutionally implemented debt brakes, European Stability Mechanism contributions and obligations as well as austerity measures in order to rein in former ballooning deficits and transform them into a structurally balanced budget.
Making "election gifts" for the poorest by redistributing wealth by levying higher taxes on the "middle- and upper classes" won't be the "magic bullet" for a left-of-center politically motivated levelling out of allegedly disproportional wealth distribution in Germany.
The call for an "Agenda Social", also demanded by German (NGO) welfare associations, is nothing more than echoing old and wide-spread frustration about a former German SPD-Chancellor's "New Labour model" of making social security somewhat sustainable, at least till 2040.
If a red-red-green left-of-center majority opted for a 'socialist' transformation of the Hartz IV transformation the impact would be felt in the purses, bank accounts and balance-sheets of almost everybody.
If the gap between income by working on minimum wage, full-time, declined to almost "zero" by generously raising the Hartz IV benefits what message would this "social" approach send to all of us?
Doesn't it even discourage the working-poor people from working?
Giving you a clue about the scope of the allegedly socially justified new paths of red-red-green:
Federal Labor Agency's statistics (Nov. 2012) about Hartz IV-recipients show that
about 4.35 million (long-term jobless - but able to work)
plus 1.68 million children live
in 3.27 million households on the dole ("pooled demand units").
Astonishingly, you will find there some 0.73 million (!) people (under age 25) and some 2.41 million(!!) (25 to 50).
Does this really mean that the current German labor market doesn't have any demand for some 3.14 million people in the age-segment 16 to 50???
Not even for some mini-jobs???
Does it really make sense to invest taxpayer's money in support/transfer systems without any return?
A government should rather promote initiatives for labor and not unemployment.
original statistical data by Federal Labor Agency
download xls file for Deutschland / Germany
and you will be getting the full scope of this societal problem: